Sheffield's Draft Local Plan


You may have picked up that there is a new Draft Local Plan for Sheffield currently out for consultation (until February 20th) . It’s of interest to people who are concerned about the climate and nature emergency because it sets a framework for land use for housing, business infrastructure and green spaces etc. over the lifetime of the plan which will last until 2039.  (NB: the part of Sheffield that’s in the Peak District National Park is excluded because it has its own rules).

The current plan is seriously out of date, and this has led to problems over the use of land for (eg) housing. This existing plan was also written before the requirements of the 2008 Climate Change Act came in to play so significantly underplays the need to create a zero-carbon city with nature protected and in recovery. The new Draft Plan has made some progress with this, though the emphasis is not strong. 

Here's the plan!

The positives of the plan are that there is a move towards ’20 minute neighbourhoods’ where people can work, shop access relevant facilities (including green spaces) and link to public transport within a 20 minute walk - so reducing transport carbon emissions and strengthening a sense of community.  There is new housing planned but this is just about all on ‘brownfield’ sites apart from the old Norton Aerodrome in south Sheffield which is currently designated Green Belt though that might surprise anyone who has driven past that derelict site in the past 40 years!

The ’compactness’ of the plan (not allowing Sheffield to ‘sprawl’ in the way of many cities) is a plus, though linking together this land-use plan with others for public transport, provision of amenities, improved/additional green spaces is a ‘next step’. The South Yorkshire Climate Alliance and the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust have both held online events about the plan and Sheffield City Council are offering in-person and online events to take comments. (See all their websites for more info)

Top notes on the plan from the perspective of climate and nature campaigners would be to a) be bolder in designating areas for greater protection for nature and b) to strengthen the emphasis on sustainability in housing and other buildings which might be granted planning permission over the next 15 years.  

The plan is an extensive document (140 pages, plus appendices!) BUT it’s got a good index/signposting for you to just focus on the bits you might be interested in – and this includes an interactive map where you can look at your particular area and see what the land designation is going to be over the next 15+ years.

You can comment on the plan  (even just a single comment – you don’t have to fill in every box!) by registering on the home page and taking it from there. Every comment that says ‘strengthen reference to sustainability’ or ‘ensure green spaces are extended and/or further protected’ makes the point to the council that residents are bothered about these things!

Click here for link to the draft Local Plan & consultation